8th October 2008
City authorities are only too aware of the potential revenue available through corporate down-time, as tired employees seek respite from a long day listening to presentations from management personnel and guest speakers.
Event organisers from companies across the UK seek the best conference facilities to suit their needs, while they are also on the lookout for cities with vibrancy and character. Businesses understand that their employees must be looked after and given the opportunity to wind down in an environment conducive to relaxation; work hard and play hard.
To this end the seaside town of Brighton is likely to receive a major economic boost next year as the UK Corporate Games rolls into town. The games are so-called as they provide an opportunity for corporate customers to enrol their employees in a huge range of activities, from basketball and beach volleyball through to indoor cricket and outrigger canoeing. The games are designed for all abilities and offer a true bonding opportunity for workers whose time together may not otherwise extend beyond the office and the local bar.
For Brighton authorities, hosting the event is an exciting opportunity to stimulate the local economy in a manner similar to conventional corporate conferences, although with a scope that is potentially even wider. While visiting companies must be fed, watered and housed for the duration of the competition, the event also creates possible revenue streams for city sporting venues that would not normally benefit from big business visitations.
Mary Mears, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, told theargus.co.uk: "Given the current economic climate and trading conditions, securing this event for the city would be a positive outcome for local tourism businesses including hotels, restaurants and venues who between them employ almost 13,000 local people."
Beneficiaries of the extra revenue could also include venues such as Waterhall and Hollingbury golf courses, the Withdean complex and Sussez and Brighton universities, as collectively they offer specialist sporting and event facilities which may be appropriate for the games.
The games could inject Brighton's local economy with revenue of up to £3 million, with up to 6,000 competitors making the trip to Brighton from a variety of locations across the UK. The games have an international reputation, with event organisers having previously held the competition in Hawaii and Seville among other locations. As a result companies of the calibre of British Airways and Microsoft frequently take part.
Confirmation that event organisers in the government have chosen Brighton for next year's Labour Party conference will supplement income from the games to the tune of £15 million, much of which will be spent in restaurants, bars and nightclubs as conference delegates wind down in the evenings, and meet over a drink to discuss the day's events.
Brighton offers a distinctive cultural experience to visitors looking to unwind, with a strong artistic presence that will be bolstered by both the games and the Labour Party conference.
According to birminghammail.net, Brighton appeals because of its "bohemian, artistic and eccentric atmosphere that's hard to match anywhere else in the UK".